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Old Feb 05, 2012, 09:48 AM
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TREX 450 FPV Holy Grail
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Central Texas
Joined Apr 2009
439 Posts
So...Let's say it could have been that simple. Dave's flashing guide is one of the best, and I used it a lot. I did have to find key bits of info in other places, though, so for me it was not one-stop shop. If all of the elements had been the same as Dave's, I'm pretty sure it would have been a breeze. As it happened, it wasn't anything major, just that I ran into a couple of issues that I had to wrestle with a little. If I remember correctly, I spent about 2-3 hours on the flashing process, including reading Dave's flashing guide, downloading and installing the software, running into a couple of problems, reading up on the forums, trying a few things on my own, and ending up with a working tri firmware on the board. I'd say in the big scheme of things, that operation went well, and I learned some useful things. Reasons for my different experience:

1) The board was different (his was HK V1, mine was V2.1)
2) The programmer was different (his was usbasp based, mine was tinyusb based)
3) He was using a mac, and I was using Win7

I don't know if the board version really had to do with any problems, but it was a difference so I wanted to point it out. My PocketAVR was part of the problem. First, I'd hoped that I could get it to work on my mac (and be like Dave :-), even though on the Sparkfun product page it said that there had been a lot of problems reported with mac and linux. But I decided to take the chance, since I use both mac and Windows at home, and because I like Sparkfun as a vendor, and it was domestic shipping and a company with real people and customer service, etc.

As it turns out,while someone may be able to get it working with a mac at some point, I was not, so I had to move to the Windows7 box. By the way, the problem on the mac has to do with the driver, I believe.

Turns out there is a sort of driver-related problem on Win7 with this programmer, too. Although I saw some posts that indicated that the driver was indeed a valid signed driver, Windows 7 did not agree with them. To use the current PocketAVR driver on Win7 (64bit), you must reboot and press F8 during post to bring up the Windows boot menu, and choose the disable the driver signing requirement in order for the driver to be "trusted" and installed. That setting stays in effect for the duration of that boot session only. It is cleared on the next reboot (unless you set it again.) Note that this problem is specific to the PocketAVR (and any other similar devices whose drivers are not recognized as validly signed).

The second issue was with the flashing process. Once I had Windows and the flashing software seeing my programmer, the flashing process initialized properly, and went through the first read/write steps successfully. But once it got to the final actual firmware write operation, it hung on the "writing" step, and progress indicator just sat there. I found a couple of posts referring to this issue that suggested moving to previous versions of the flashing software. I don't recall what the recommended version was for resolving this problem, but I had to revert to an even earlier version before it worked for me: version .33. Note that .33 pre-dated the availability of the HK KK 2.1 version of the board, so I selected the closest thing, which was version 2.0.

That combination worked for me. If you do some reading (especially the KK thread:, you'll find evidence of all sorts of little sticking points that different people with different versions of this or that had to work through. Some of them much more troubling and persistent than mine. Based on my experience, I would say to expect some fiddling around with the flashing process before you nail it, and consider yourself fortunate if everything just works the first time around. As I mentioned, I like that I had to jump through a few hoops because I learned some useful things in the process.

On a sidenote, LazyZero (the author of the kkmulticopter flashing software) said that he would order the PocketAVR to do some testing, and so that issue may be something he is able to address in a future build:

Hopefully this information will save someone a little frustration at some point.

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